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I want to believe

Do Aliens exist? Well if the Pope is firmly convinced that they don't it is plainly because he spends to much time obseving the interesting contents of expensive golden goblets and not enough time gazing at the skies. Otherwise he would have spotted this passing UFO. We might consider ourselves fortunate that an opportunistic photographer working for the Telegraph newspaper does not share the same enthusiasm as Jean Paul II for golden goblet gazing (a hobby which I gather is fast becoming a bit of a craze in Vatican City -everything the Pope does catches on) otherwise we might still be left wondering if we are truely alone in this vast, cold Universe.

But before you UFOlogists really do start thinking your quest is at an end and that what we have here is final irrefutable proof that extra terrestrials do exist and are observing us and our more unusual pastimes (like golden goblet gazing) I'm afraid I'm going to have to confess (something the Pope would be proud of) that I am being a little misleading. This is not the final irrefutable proof you are looking for. It dosn't even come close. What you have here is a distincly irreverant gust of wind lifting the Pope's hat off his head at a rather inopportune moment (the rules of golden goblet gazing state explicitly that one's head must be covered at all times). seems that more and more people are open to believing in their existence. I worked with someone over the summer who was convinced that aliens had visited our planet and were engaged in dialogue with the US government. He never went as far as to suggest that Bill Clinton was a reptilian shape shifting alien but if he'd said that about Tony Blair the British PM I'd probably have agred with him! Some people are so convinced in the existence of intelligent extra terrestrial life that they cannot believe that the Bible is true. That may sound like a strange thing to conclude. Their reasoning goes something like this. (1) Christians don't believe in aliens (2) I do (3) Christians say what they believe comes from the Bible (4) The Bible must say that aliens don't exist ,or at least imply it, or at least preclude of those three, I've never read it myself. (5) I believe they exist (6) The Bible must be wrong.

This SEEMS very simplistic I know, and wihout wishing to be insulting, such reasoning IS simplistic and based on ignorance as it is uninformed. Yes, the Bibe says nothing of extra terresrial life but the Bible also says nothing about Kangaroo's either. Yet any Australian will tell you that Kangaroo's exist and that they have made contact. The Bible doesn't speak about atmoic weapons either but we all know of the devastation they can cause. My point is, the Bible isn't some all encompassing encylopedia of truth. It is not the Hitch Hikers Guide to the Galaxy. It IS God's revelation to mankind. It speaks specifically to mankind and to his situation and tells us what we NEED to know. Our salvation is after all far more important to God than our need to know whether He has seen fit to create other life forms that are not of this planet. In the Bible God speaks to our deepest need not to our curiosity.

The Bible does not tell us we're the centre of the universe, far from it, it tells us to get of our high horses and realise we are not. Yes we are loved by God but God we are not. I have no problem believing that there might be something out there, there may be hundreds or even thousands of civilazations of intelligent life all bearing the image of their creator. The first thing we learn about God in the Bible is that He creates. I create too. I paint. Any artist with a creative spirit doesn't stop at one painting. Why should God stop at one world? Not only to the laws of probability tell us that there must be life out there, God's revelation to us implies it as well.

Have they visited our planet? I don't know. Quite possibly. I want to believe. But our planet has had a far more important visitor, 2000 years ago, and we executed him. He came in peace we shot to kill. He was the Son of God. The Bible tells us He died for our sins, he gave his life as a ransom for us so that we could know God and have eternal life. Do you want to believe?

15th October 1999